Document 2585

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Meeting of B .E . Faculty of the College of
General Practitioners .
I attended a meeting of this faculty in Brighton on Sunday ,
9th December, in order to contribute to a . discussion on smoking
. I was
told that the membership of the B .E . faculty was about 400, of which I
estimated that about 60 members, mostly accompanied by their wives, attended
the meeting ,
I was requested to talk about the research on which T .M .S .C . is
engaged. The other speakers were Dr . W .I
. Gordon, Pathologist at the
King Edward VII Sanitarium, Midhuret, and Dr . Horaoe Joules of the Central
Middlesex Hospital . I was told by the Chairman before 'the meeting that
both of the other two speakers had also been asked to talk about research
and that it was his intention to keep the discussion on this technical
level and not to allow speakers or members from the floor to indulge in
provocative propaganda .
In the event Dr . Gordon read a thoughtful and well prepared paper
on lung pathology in relation to smoking habits, a follow-up and
development of the sort of work carried out by Auerbach .
Dr . Gordon, of whom we had not previously heard, is a eunj
Australian pathologist who struck me as being not only able buiso leve' .
beaded . He particularly asked me after the meeting if I would keep hi
in touch with future developments of T .M .S .C . research, because he was
particularly interested in the problem of the quantitative measurement of
pre-cancerous changes induced in elium by exposur e
o cigarette amol e,,.,.smoke condensate or .fractions isolated from it
believe that Dr . Gordon could be a most useful contact .
Dr. Joules made no attempt to say anything at all about research,
confining his remarks, which extended well over his allotted time limit, to the
sort of one-sided propaganda that .we have come to expect from him
. Fortunately
the London smog of the previous week diverted some of his .inveotive from the
tobacco industry to the Tory Government as proprietors of Nationalised industries
which in his view are generating altogether too much sulphur dioxide, with
criminal disregard for the Nation's health . However, for his remarks o
smoking Joules clearly had the majority of the audience with him . He was
loudly applauded and only one or two of the doctors took the trouble to
query any of his points at Question Time .
Question Time, for which only about thirty minutes remained,
covered the following :1 . Are the rise in lung cancer and the drop in tuberculosis
related in some war? Joules said not .
2 . Does smoking cause lung cancer through "carcinogens" or
general irritation? Useful comment from Gordon who
said that the progressive changes he had observed were
more consistent with non-specific irritation .
3. Snuff taking and cancer of the nasal sirua . Contribution
from Gordon and myself on snuff taking in the Bantu .
4. Diagnostic X-rays - unlikely to be cause of lung cancer .
5 . Carcinoma in situ . Discussion between one questione r
and Gordon as to whether this was unambiguously
pre-cancerous .
6 . Cigarette paper? Replied along usual lines .
7 . Cigars, pipes, Turkish tobacco . Replied along usual
lines with reference to Planning Committee experiment .
8 . Giving up smoking . Joules had nothing new to say .
9 . Smoke/diesel . fumes . Two or three questioners crossexamined Joules pretty carefully on this subject . He
stated categorically that only cigarette smokers
suffered from the effects of smog .
10 . Aquafilters . Two questioners had concluded from B .M .J.
advertisement that T .M .S . C . was backing Aquafilters .
Before I was able to reply, this led Joules to a tirade
against the tobacco industry for, as he said, selling
filters which were uniformly less efficient than tobacco,
and making health claims for them . I was then given
the opportunity to deny all these points in the strongest
possible tern : .
Research Department
12th December 1962.